The Ruriden columbarium, operated by the Koukokuji Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, is as futuristic as the capital of Japan itself. Believe it or not, this is a cemetery.

The Ruriden is home to 2,046 small altars, with glass Buddha statues that correspond to drawers storing the ashes of the deceased. People can visit their beloved lost ones with the help of a smart card which grants access to the building and lights up their corresponding statue.


The Ruriden took two years to build and the ashes are stored for 33 years before being buried below the Ruriden. Currently 600 altars are in use—and another 300 are reserved.

Photos: Chris McGrath/Getty Images